Top 10 Food and Health Blog Posts from 2013

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1. USDA School Snack Guide – Smart Snack List for Parents, Teachers and School Foodservice Directors School snacks must conform to the USDA guidelines, which include calorie limits, sugar caps, and nutrient requirements. This popular post received many comments because we made lists of healthy snacks that you can make from scratch or buy ready made. The free snack handout was downloaded thousands of times.
2. New Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Guidelines The American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology and other professional societies developed and announced new cardiovascular disease clinical practice guidelines for lifestyle, risk assessment, cholesterol, and obesity. We made a handy risk assessment infographic.
3. 15 Things You Can Do with a Box of Clementines Did you know that clementines are a variety of mandarin orange? They’re rather tiny, quite easy to peel, and even the segments come apart smoothly. When these tasty winter fruits are in season, they are a great deal when purchased by the box. You can usually get around 25-30 of these little fruits for anywhere between $3.99 to $7.99 per box. That’s about .25 cents each, which is less than the price of a candy bar! One challenge is to use them quickly so our chef found 15 easy, delicious ways to use them.
4. Seven Remarkable Summer Fruit Desserts Summer is here, which means that many kinds of fruit are at the very peak of their season. So how can you best celebrate the joys of summer fruit? Check out these simple and healthy fruit desserts. They’re cold, refreshing, and totally delicious. The pictures tell the whole story.
5. 12 Salad Presentations

  • WHAT: Making attractive plate presentations for healthy food, which is a challenge because you are often working with brown whole grains and you are using less meat and less fat. The good news is that you can really increase the color with fruits and vegetables.
  • WHO: The intended audience is for professionals who teach cooking demos, food service managers, dietary managers, dietitians, home economists, teachers and even aspiring culinarians. But anyone who wants to make a better looking dish in their kitchen would benefit, too. We use simple tips that make the food look and taste great – it is “edible food styling” – no weird chemicals or funny tricks.
  • WHY: So everyone can enjoy making a really beautiful salad.
6. Holiday Vegetable Wreaths Here is an easy way to display salads, vegetables, and fruits as holiday wreaths. They make colorful and healthful centerpieces that will grace any holiday table. You can take them to parties, too. There is a free handout included.
7. Hot News: “Gluten-Free” Now Standardized on Food Labels Well, it’s official. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has finalized the definition of the term “gluten-free” and is regulating its use on food labels. No longer can manufacturers simply slap that label on their foods without following proper guidelines first.
8. Make a Healthful Holiday Plate! Here's all of my favorite holiday recipes, all ready to build a balanced plate for Thanksgiving. The plate photo shows a healthy holiday plate, too.
9. Easter Rabbit Salad Here is our latest creation, a fruit salad shaped like a rabbit.
The criteria:

  • Common fruits
  • Anyone can make it
  • Everyone wants to eat it
  • Has to be shaped like a rabbit
  • No candy – a healthy fun fruit salad
10. Free Handout: Set Achievable Goals Beware of asking too much of yourself right away. This can be unsustainable, and in some cases, extremely unhealthy. Check out a few examples of unrealistic goals below, and make sure that these aren’t on YOUR list…

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